Group 2 Australia Stakes betting guide, form and race tips

Moonee Valley

SOME of Australia’s best thoroughbreds are in action in the Group 2 $200,000 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday night.

The feature sprint includes the likes of Black Heart Bart, Malaguerra, Palentino and Chetwood, in what promises to be a hotly-contested race around The Valley.

There is more racing action spread out across the eight-race card which starts with the William Hill Maiden Plate at 6.30pm and if your horse finishes second or third in the first four races on the card, will give away a bonus bet of up to $50.

Race 1 – William Hill Maiden Plate (1200m)

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Big John Cannon didn’t finish close on debut on a heavy track, but it performed much better in the Red Anchor Stakes last start. The son of High Chaparral is suited to the longer distances, but this field isn’t much to beat and bookmakers have opened it as the $2.40 favourite following its run for third behind Archives around this track last time out.

Pat Cannon lines up Layne’s Star which has gone close at its last two starts. The three-year-old filly ran second at Geelong last start and it has placed in all three starts at the sprinting distance. It gets an inside draw to work with and a win doesn’t look far away for this $4.20 chance with bookmakers.

Race 1 tip: Big John Cannon to win ($2.40) at

Race 2 – Sweeney Estate Agents 2YO (1000m)

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La Chica Rosa is on debut for Chris Waller and it has been nicely supported into $5. The Denman filly was a $170,000 purchase and it’s a well-related type which has no public trial form leading into this. Bookmakers opened it at $5.50 which suggests there’s plenty of confidence around and it will pay to keep an eye for any more market changes.

Zarpoya ran a solid race for third on debut at Sandown. The Robbie Griffiths-trained filly finished off well along the rails behind Arctic Angel in a highly-graded race and it would have taken great benefit from that. It has the breeding to sprint well over this distance and it has been nicely-supported at $6.50.

Race 2 tip: La Chica Rosa to win ($5.50) at

Race 3 – Simpson Construction R70 (1000m)

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Angry Gee is a five-time winner which gets a 3kg claimer in the saddle. The Jerome Hunter-trained gelding doesn’t have a great record around this track with four starts for only one placing, but it’s rarely out of the money at this distance and bookmakers are respecting its chances at $3.20. Expect jockey Jack Martin to settle it close to the pace and kick strongly around the tight turning track.

On the second line of betting is Manihi Mischief which had no luck when travelling wide last start. The four-year-old is a three-time winner at this distance and its second behind Core Breach on this track two starts back was full of merit. Damien Oliver takes the ride which is ideal and it looks a chance at $3.70.

Race 3 tip: Angry Gee to win ($3.20) at

Race 4 – Melbourne Signage Concepts R70 (1600m)

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Fudged has won two of its four starts this campaign which included a win at Sandown two starts back. The Cindy Alderson-trained filly closed well behind Oak Door last start at Flemington and it only has to cope with the tricky barrier draw to be a contender in this. Ben Thompson takes 2kg off its back and it is the current $3.50 favourite with bookmakers.

Tres broke the shackles with a 3.25-length win at Cranbourne. The Ellerton/Zahra-trained filly took kindly to the rise in distance and it must be considered again over the mile here. Expect the daughter of Moshe to settle near the back of the field before producing with a big run down the outside. It opened as the equal favourite at $3.50, but has drifted out slightly to $3.60.

Race 4 tip: Tres to win ($3.60) at

Race 5 – Inglis 55 Second Challenge R90 (955m)

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Deconi is coming off a stylish win at Cranbourne and it should appreciate firmer conditions here. The Stuart Webb-trained mare has form behind the likes of Majestic Lass at Caulfield and although it’s rising right up in grade for this, it drops back in weight. Ben Thompson takes its weight down to 53kg which will make it competitive at odds of $4.20.

Petite’s Reward has been drifting since opening as the $3.50 favourite, but it looks to have a good winning chance. The four-year-old has won five races from 18 starts, but it hasn’t won in four starts this campaign. It has a good winning record at Moonee Valley, which will give punters plenty of confidence and it has drawn ideally in barrier two. Its current price of $3.80 is good value.

Race 5 tip: Petite’s Reward to win ($3.80) at

Race 6 – 1Print Tour Of Victoria R70 (2040m)

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On Wings is a capable four-year-old which was closing well last start. The Weir-trained gelding rises up in distance which looks suitable and it will likely settle back from the tricky draw and launch with a run late. This is a wide open field and bookmakers are offering $4.20 which should be considered.

Zilbiyr is an imported runner which has run consecutive placings since arriving in Australia. The four-year-old isn’t one of the highly-touted imports to head to Australia and its form in Europe is questionable, but this field is average and it will get every chance from the inside draw. Bookmakers are giving it every chance at $5 and it should go well.

Race 6 tip: On Wings to win ($4.20) at

Race 7 – Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m)

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Black Heart Bart is a professional type which has surprisingly won four starts at this distance. The Weir-trained gelding has also won three starts fresh up and it will be able to land on the speed from barrier three. It has had only one start at Moonee Valley which was a poor showing in the Cox Plate, but this is a different race and it’s getting full respect from bookmakers at $2.80. We expect that price that drift as money comes for Chetwood.

Chetwood is a talented four-year-old which has rattled off four consecutive wins. The John O’Shea-trained gelding defeated the likes of Le Romain and Rough Justice during that winning streak and it will only need to cope with the tricky draw. The lack of experience at Moonee Valley from jockey James Doyle is concerning, but its opening price of $4.50 has tumbled into $4.20, so respect that movement.

Race 7 tip: Black Heart Bart to win ($2.80) at

Race 8 – The Slade Bloodstock R70 (1200m)

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Broadway And First did the job well last time out and it has been well-backed for this. The Weir-trained gelding has won twice at this distance which suits and it won’t have to improve much to figure in the finish. It opened at $3.40 and has firmed into $3.30.

Theanswermyfriend is fresh up after running 11th in the Geelong Classic, but it’s more competitive in this grade. The Smerdon-trained gelding won well at Caulfield two back in a higher graded race than this and Dwayne Dunn knows how to ride around this track. It opened at $5 and has been backed into $4.50.

Race 8 tip: Theanswermyfriend to win ($4.50) at

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